Pune: Experienced campaigner Rushmi Chakravathi carried the Indian challenge into the main draw of the NECC-ITF $25,000 Women’s tennis tournament with a fighting comeback win at the Deccan Gymkhana, here on Monday.
In the final qualifying round, Rushmi overcame an upset stomach and fever to down Vietnam’s Trang Huynh Phuong Dai 5-7, 7-6 (5), 6-1 and become the only Indian to make it past the qualifying stage. Six Indian’s figured in the final qualifying round on Monday.
Two other Indians, unseeded Natasha Palha and No. 7 Kyra Shroff were stretched to three sets, but could not emulate Rushmi who did well holding her grips in crunch situations.
Goa-based Natasha wasted a 4-2 lead in the final set before going down to No. 6 Korean Hae-Sung Kim in a match lasting 2 hours 58 minutes. The Korean won 7-6 (6), 0-6, 6-4 and avoided being upset.
Later, Georgia’s Natia Gegia, who ranks 216 places lower, conquered seeded Kyra. The Indian did well to win the first set before going down 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.
However, the match of the day was that of Rushmi’s who was playing her opponent for the first time. After losing the first set, Rushmi began the second set breaking her opponent Trang Huynh Phuong Dai’s serve in the opening game. However, she could not hold on to the advantage forcing the set into the tiebreak.
Tied 1-1, Rushmi won five points in a row which included an ace to lead 6-1, before the Vietnamese fought back winning four points and narrow the lead. However, Rushmi regained composure to win the next point and push the match into the deciding third.
The second set, incidentally, lasted an hour and four minutes.
In the decider, Rushmi was on song opening up a 5-0 advantage, the Vietnamese won the 6th before the Indian finished signed off winning the 7th on love.
Rushmi runs into qualifier Jia Xiang Lu of China in her main draw opener.
Meanwhile giant killer qualifying round giant killer Sri Vaishnavi Peddi Reddy (India) fell by the wayside to Taipei’s Shu-Ying Hsieh 3-6, 0-6.
In the singles main draw, which began simultaneously, all seeds had easy straight set outings.
Prerna Bhambri and Rishika Sunkara, the two Indian figuring in the opening day six match main draw schedule, made their exit losing to seeded players. Prerna lost to No 6 France’s Celine Cattaneo 5-7, 2-6, while Rishika went down to fifth seeded Peangtarn Plipuech of Thailand 3-6, 2-6.
No 2 Sachie Ishizu of Japan lost one game in her match against Wing-Yau Venise Chan (Hong Kong) 6-1, 6-0.
Earlier, ace International shooter Tejaswini Sawant graced the opening ceremony and declared it open.
RESULTSMain Draw: Women Singles, Rd-1: Anja Prislan (Slo) bt Miki Miyamura (Jpn) 6-2, 6-4; 6-Celine Cattaneo (Fra) bt Prerna Bhambri (Ind) 7-5, 6-2; 2-Sachie Ishizu (Jpn) bt Wing-Yau Venise Chan (Hkg) 6-1, 6-0; Melis Sezer (Tur) bt Tamara Curovic (Srb) 4-6, 6-3, 6-1; Deniz Khazaniuk (Isr) bt Miyabi Inoue (Jpn) 6-1, 6-4; 5-Peangtarn Plipuech (Tha) bt Rishika Sunkara (Ind) 6-3, 6-2
Qualifying, Singles (Final Rd): 12-Shu-Ying Hsieh (Tpe) bt Sri Vaishnavi Peddi Reddy (Ind) 6-3, 6-0; Ekaterina Tour (Isr) bt Kamonwan Buayam (Tha) 6-2, 6-3; 3-Jia Xiang LU (Chn) bt Varunya Wongteanchai (Tha) 6-2, 6-3; 15-Napatsakorn Sankaew (Tha) bt 4-Sharmada Balu (Ind) 6-4, 6-2; 5-Ju-Eun Kim (Kor) bt 10-Ankita Raina (Ind) 6-3, 6-1; 6-Hae-Sung Kim (Kor) bt Natasha Palha (Ind) 7-6 (6), 0-6, 6-4; Natia Gegia (Geo) bt 7-Kyra Shroff (Ind) 4-6, 6-4, 6-4; 8-Rushmi Chakravarthi (Ind) bt Trang Huynh Phuong Dai (Vie) 5-7, 7-6 (5), 6-1.